5 Common Questions about Puppy and Kitty Vaccines

With warmer weather in sight, many families are considering the addition of a furry family member. If a puppy or kitten is in your future, you likely have a lot on your mind – the supplies you need, the inevitable training and of course, veterinary care. Most people know that young animals need routine wellness exams, but many are unaware of the vaccines that are vital for protecting their immune systems.

Here are a few common questions our veterinarians receive about vaccinations, especially at this time of year.

1. Why do our puppies and kittens need vaccinations?

When you bring a puppy or kitten home at 8-10 weeks old, it’s important to remember that their immune system is far from developed. Young animals are protected from disease and infection through their mother’s milk, but once they go home with you, that protection is no longer there. This is why it’s important to set up a veterinary appointment as soon as possible – to protect your pet and your family.

2. What if we choose not to vaccinate our puppy or kitten?

If your pet is not vaccinated – even if it lives inside – it will be susceptible to viruses that may cause illness or death. Many unvaccinated puppies are affected by parvo, a life-threatening disease that kills almost 90 percent of its victims. Parvo is highly contagious and progresses rapidly. Unvaccinated kittens often come down with serious respiratory diseases, affecting their eyes, nose and throat. These are just a few of the issues that result from choosing not to vaccinate.

3. How many vaccines are necessary? 

This can vary from pet to pet, but your puppy or kitten will likely need four “core” vaccinations. Core vaccines provide protection from the most common illnesses out there. Most pets will also receive a rabies vaccine, as mandated by the state.

For puppies, core vaccines are:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine infectious hepatitis or adenovirus
  • Canine parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis


For kittens, core vaccines are:

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis
  • Feline herpes virus
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline leukemia


4. How do I know which vaccines my pet needs?

When you visit Mebane Pet Clinic for your first wellness examination, we will discuss your pet’s lifestyle and determine which non-core vaccines would be beneficial. For example, if you live in a wooded area or plan to hike with your dog, you’ll want to get him vaccinated for Lyme disease. We love getting to know families and learning about their favorite activities. It helps us build relationships with our clients and provide the best care for their four-legged family members.

5. How else can I protect my new puppy or kitten from harm?

There are numerous ways you can provide the best care for your pet. From quality food to effective worm, flea and tick prevention, we can guide you on smart choices that will promote your pet’s health and prevent unnecessary (and often expensive) emergency bills.

Let’s get your new puppy or kitty on the fast track to a happy, healthy life. Call today to set up an initial visit: (919) 304-5200.

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